PGA Tour Golf, by ZIO
Software $29.95 Pocket PC, $14.95 Palm OS
Reviewed May 2002
You know that phrase "I want to be like Mike"? Well, here is
a new phrase "I want to be like Tiger!" While you know you
won't play like Tiger on a real golf course, ZIO Interactive's Tiger
Woods PGA Tour Golf might just be the ticket to fulfill your fantasy.
The beautiful scenery and graphics show off world-class golf courses,
realistic golf game play and course difficulty levels make handheld game
as real as it gets.
The graphics of two golf courses (Badlands
Golf Club and The Las Vegas Golf Club) are very realistic
and beautiful (especially in the Pocket PC version!). If
the lore of beautiful scenery is one of the biggest selling
points for auto racing games, then there is no reason that
golf games can't take advantage of the same thing. In this
golf game, the scenery certainly is a big plus and makes
the game play much more enjoyable. The bunkers, trees, greens,
lakes and roughs have their own distinct character, and the
you'll recognize the players on their first swing.
There's an enormous selection of golf
games you can play, from Practice to Stroke Play, from Skins
Game to Match Play, from Four Ball to Foursome. And each
game has number of options as well. For example, if you want
to practice your putting, you can select a group of holes
from the regulation sheet to play, such as Front 9, Back
9, Par 3s, Part 4s or Par 5s. When you are ready to play
the course, you can choose to play all 18 holes, front 9
or back 9, and to play at either amateur or Pro level. The
players other than Tiger Woods, you can play with or against
Justin Leonard, Mark O'Meara and Brad Faxon, or put your
own name on the list.
The golf games feel very real. Before each
game begins, you'll be shown the rules of the game you selected.
For example, if you choose to play a skins game, it will
tell you the total purse, which player has earned how much
so far, how much is next hole worth. On the game interface,
you will see the wind speed and direction on top left corner
and the golf course aero view on the top right. The information
of the hole is at the bottom of the screen and that includes
hole number, par number, shot number and length and depth
of the hole. In the lower right corner is the club selection
and lower left corner is a picture of the player and menu.
If you click on the in-game menu, you can access the show
score, landscape, ball-cam/fixed cam, green grid on/off,
save/end game, etc. functions. All the information you need
about this game, this hole, this course is right here, but
somehow it does not clutter your play view.
The realistic physics and smooth
ball movements make this game fun to play. You can be consistent
by using your usual golf game strategy, or you can be creative
by experimenting with new ideas. After all, it's Tiger's
style to be creative. The game reflects your different
strokes and intentions well; that's why with just a little
bit of change in strength in the "C" meter, you
can either see the ball on the green or loose it in the
rough. I practiced controlling the "C" until
I was pleased with my power strokes, lobs, chips and bunker
shots before getting serious on the course.
There's background music and some birds
chirping. I opted to turn them off. The game runs in both
portrait and landscape modes on Pocket PCs, though I couldn't
get the landscape mode to work on my Jornada 568. The portrait
mode fits the game play better anyway. The game is a little
over 5.6 MB and can run from a CF card.
The price tag is bit high in Pocket PC
land, but can be off-set if you think about how much you
spend on your last trip to your local country club. And the
Palm price is reasonable.
Playing Hints and Tips:
Choose Tiger Woods as your player. As you'd guess,
I always get better scores when I play as him.